17 episodes

We all have constant demands on our time, and sometimes it can be hard to remember to put God first. Devotionals from Delve Christian Ministries contain advice on how to keep Jesus at the center of our busy lives and how to live according to the principles he taught. Devotionals look at a passage of scripture and study what it means for us today along with practical ways to apply it in our own lives. No matter what the topic, every devotional has one simple goal - bringing you closer to Jesus.

Devotional Podcast by Delve Christian Ministries Delve Christian Ministries

    • Christianity

We all have constant demands on our time, and sometimes it can be hard to remember to put God first. Devotionals from Delve Christian Ministries contain advice on how to keep Jesus at the center of our busy lives and how to live according to the principles he taught. Devotionals look at a passage of scripture and study what it means for us today along with practical ways to apply it in our own lives. No matter what the topic, every devotional has one simple goal - bringing you closer to Jesus.

    Loving the Sinner

    Loving the Sinner

    "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." - Matthew 7:1-5 I have discovered this principle of life -- that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love Gods law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. - Romans 7:21-25 (NLT) A few weeks ago, my wife and I enjoyed a visit from our church's senior pastor. One of the topics that came up during the conversation was the murder of a prominent abortion doctor while he attended Sunday service. We briefly discussed some of the obvious ethical questions raised by the murder and strongly agreed with each other that taking his life could never be condoned no matter how strongly one feels about abortion. However there was another, more subtle point which I wanted to bring up. The doctor had been attending a Christian service, so I presume he called himself a Christian and felt that he was a follower of Jesus. He must have somehow, quite mistakenly, been able to reconcile his work with Christ's teachings. Presumably the pastor or minister of that church as well as many among the congregation would have been aware of his chosen profession, and had also been able to reconcile his profession with his desire to follow Christ. How would our own church react under the same circumstances? I asked our pastor if he would knowingly allow an abortion doctor to attend the weekly service at our church. "Absolutely," he replied with no hesitation. "I would not allow him to become a member of our congregation without first renouncing his profession, but I would be delighted to have him there in the pews every single week. What a great opportunity that would be to help him understand God's will for his life!" This example of a Christian who performs abortions is extreme to be sure, but it got me thinking about how most Christians usually react to those in their congregation who are failing to live up to God's standards, especially those who know it and are trying desperately to change. Our pastor's response expresses deep love and a desire to help, not criticism and judgment. If only every follower of Jesus had the same response! Sadly, the typical Christian's reaction to sin in their brothers and sisters is not a desire to lend a helping hand. What they really want to do is gossip about it. Sin is a very uncomfortable topic among Christians. We're supposed to be different from those who don't know the Lord. We're supposed to be better. Sure, it's true that we're called to a higher standard, but that certainly does not mean that we don't make mistakes. Paul explains this very clearly in chapter seven of the Book of Romans. The difference between those who serve Jesus and those who don't is that we have made a commitment to do everything we can to avoid sinning and will repent when we fail to do so. Fail we will, each and every one of us. As you look around your congregation on Sunday morning, know this about every single person you see -- they sin. Some of them have serious problems with drugs or alcohol. There may be a few who are addicted to gambling or pornography. Some feel that their marriage is beyond saving and are contemplating divorce.

    Loving the Lost

    Loving the Lost

    He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. - Mark 16:15-16 The Lord is not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance - 2 Peter 3:9 If you take a look back at the last few year's worth of devotionals on Delve Into Jesus, you'll see a common theme of emphasizing action over emotion. When it comes to concepts such as humility, forgiveness and surrender, it's important not to let our feelings get in the way of living according to the principles Jesus taught. We need to first be obedient to those teachings, regardless of how we feel. We mustn't wait to feel something before we do something. Nevertheless, in some circumstances our emotions can be enormously helpful when it comes to understanding and abiding in God's will. We should embrace they ways in which emotions can serve to ignite a desire to obey God. That is not to say that we should wait to be obedient until our emotions drive us, but rather, that emotions can be a powerful driving force and offer a constant reminder of what we need to do. I can obey the commandment to remain faithful in my marriage without considering any of the emotional consequences. It should be sufficient that I desire to obey the commandments given to us by our Lord. Yet, how much stronger my conviction will be when I spend time understanding the depth of my love for my wife and how much pain she would suffer if I were ever to be unfaithful. Nowhere is this more evident than when we consider how each of us are personally undertaking the commandment to spread the Gospel. Though God reveals Himself to the lost in many different ways, He has commanded His followers to be the primary means of informing mankind about the gift of salvation. Without digressing into a debate about the doctrine of salvation and predestination, it's nevertheless clear to me what is at stake should I fail to seize an opportunity to share the Gospel. At best, another follower will be required to do the work which I failed to do. At worst, this beloved of God may never have another chance to hear the Gospel and will be lost forever. If we are going to be effective in delivering the message of salvation to the lost, we should first try to come to an emotional understanding of just how much Jesus loves them and desires that they should not perish. Realize that the love we feel for our own children cannot compare with that which God feels for each and every child of His, whether they call Him Father or not. Contemplate a love which is so intense that you feel as though your heart will burst, and understand that God has more love than this for even those who have turned their backs on Him and cursed His Holy name. I regret that in my past, I have been indifferent towards those who have never heard the Gospel and disdainful of those who reject it. All of that changed one night as I held my daughter and rocked her to sleep. I was overwhelmed by my immense love for this small miracle, and could not stop thanking and praising God for such a precious gift. In that moment, God helped me to understand His deep love for all of His children. To what lengths would I go to rescue her if she were lost? Would I give all my possessions, all my time and even my life to save her? Without hesitation! All this and more God is asking us to undertake to save those whom He loves. We might preach the Gospel, witness to friends, support our congregation's missionaries and even take a mission trip of our own if only to remain obedient to God. In our desire to please the Lord, we may be quite effective. God may choose to use us as His instrument to win many souls for His Kingdom. But how much more effective could we be if our hearts, as well of our minds, were completely invested in the work? What if we wer

    Spring Cleaning

    Spring Cleaning

    Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. -Matthew 5:48 Sin is not an unfortunate slip or a regrettable act; it is a posture of defiance against a holy God. - Max Lucado There's a good reason why little chores around the house never seem to get done - it's too easy to justify putting them off for just a little longer. Changing the furnace filter? That can wait another week. Cleaning out the garage? Maybe next month. It always seems the bigger, more important chores get most of the attention while the smaller ones keep moving further down the priority list. Yet, if we keep putting off the little things indefinitely, in time we'll reach a point where the cumulative neglect has turned the house into a real mess and everything is falling apart. Eventually, all the little things pile up to a point where we can ignore them no longer. When we reach that point, it's time to grit our teeth, get down to business and perform some much needed spring cleaning. Dealing with sin in our lives is a bit like taking care of chores around the house. None of us are free from the need to battle sin; it is an ever-present, daily struggle to identify and weed out problem areas where we are not living the life Jesus intends for us. The more frequently and diligently we do this, the cleaner our spirit will be. If we neglect this task entirely, it won't take long before we are wading in filth and grime. Most of us do an admirable job of identifying and tackling the bigger sins, even if we don't always win the fight every time. If someone has issues with abusive or violent behavior, adultery or addictions to drugs or gambling, these sins are so overwhelmingly destructive that no Christian could ignore their devastating effects for long. These issues might represent a life-long war where battles are constantly won and lost, but resources are abundant in our churches and communities, and most followers of Christ will do whatever is necessary to bring these behaviors under control. But how are we doing with the little sins? I'm referring to the ones which keep getting put off and pushed down our chore list as we battle for control over the larger and more serious sins. We can procrastinate for a little while, but eventually the combined effect on your spiritual health of these so-called "smaller" sins can cause just as much damage as the larger ones. If we are going to keep our spirits clean and healthy, then maybe it's time for a little spring cleaning. Little sins have two big problems - they are hard to identify and easy to justify. Few non-Christians would think twice about committing these sins and would have little remorse afterward. Not many people seem to think it's a problem to steal supplies from work, cheat on taxes, download illegal software or watch pornography. It's become old-fashioned to wait for marriage before sharing physical intimacy, and we barely notice anymore when someone tells vulgar jokes or uses our Lord's name as a curse. Christians are called to a much higher standard, and we understand intellectually that these are things we should not be doing. However, our culture and media send strong messages about our right to selfish, materialistic and lascivious lifestyles. It is a real challenge to tune out these messages and remember to measure our actions against the standards which Jesus taught, not what society dictates. Like it or not, we exist in a culture which has drastically different values and morals than our own. It's a genuine challenge to keep our perspective. Thankfully, there is an easy test to help us distinguish between what is acceptable behavior for Christians and what is not, regardless of what the rest of the world might think. The simple test is this - consider whether or not there is anyone to whom you would feel compelled to lie in order to prevent them from knowing about your actions. Is there

    God In the Driver's Seat

    God In the Driver's Seat

    "If you will only obey me and let me help you, then you will have plenty to eat. But if you keep turning away and refusing to listen, you will be destroyed by your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken!" - Isaiah 1:19-20 (NLT) Last week as I made my way to the office, I felt a familiar "thud" as the car approached a red light and the automatic transmission down-shifted. It was a symptom I knew all too well, since the same problem three years earlier had necessitated a long and costly rebuild of the transmission. Now with over two-hundred-thousand miles on the odometer and a whole host of other small mechanical problems, I knew it was time to retire this car and start shopping for a new one. My wife and I discussed which manufacturers we would consider and which we would not. We solicited recommendations from friends and family and spent hours on the Internet reading reviews. Finally, we narrowed the list to two manufacturers. Since each had only one model in our price range, we essentially had two cars from which to choose. I test-drove each one and carefully priced them with the options we needed. We considered safety, reliability and fuel economy. We calculated the monthly payment based on the available interest rate and finally made our choice. I went in to the dealership knowing exactly what I wanted and what I was willing to pay, and gave the salesman one of the quickest and easiest commissions he would ever have. Four days after the first signs of transmission trouble, we had signed the paperwork on a new car. As I lay in bed that night waiting to fall asleep, I considered how thorough and efficient I had been in choosing the right vehicle for our family's needs. I had not succumbed to emotion, nor had I impulsively purchased the first good deal I found. No, I had made a very well-educated and informed decision. "What a smart and responsible man I am", I thought. Just then, I heard the small voice which I have come to recognize as the Holy Spirit. He whispered, "You never asked me what I wanted you to do." I immediately felt convicted and ashamed. It was true! During the entire four days, I had not even once stopped to pray and ask God which car was right for us. I never asked for His guidance or assistance. I never even asked God if we should be buying a new car at all. Worse still, I never thanked Him for allowing us to have the ability to buy a new car at a time when so many others are suffering financially. For four days, I never once spoke to God about the situation even though it was the most important issue on my mind at the time. I simply forged ahead, relying on my own limited judgment to guide me. I should know better. In the three years that Delve Christian Ministries has been publishing devotionals, I have written frequently about the need for relying on God, surrendering to His will and allowing Him to be in control of everything we do. Yet, here I had a perfect opportunity to put these concepts into action and failed miserably. As a result, I may never know what God intended to give us or what consequences we might face as a result of not seeking His will. I don't believe that God punishes us each time we wrestle with Him for control over a situation. No, he does something much worse - He leaves us to our fate and permits us to bear the full brunt of all the consequences of our choice. We must not make the mistake of thinking that surrendering to God is something we do once and never again. Total surrender to God is not a state of being which we can achieve and then ignore. It is a moment-by-moment way of living that we must practice every day of our lives. Some are better at it than others, though with practice, each of us can become more experienced at living this way. Yet, even those who have become very good at daily surrender still need to put it into action at every opportunity. We should not think that

    Temptation

    Temptation

    You shall see neither hook nor line, much less the subtle angler himself, while he is offering you his bait. And his bait shall be so fitted to your temper and disposition, that he will be sure to find advantages within you, and make your own principles and inclinations betray you; and whenever he ruineth you, he will make you the instruments of ruin to others. - Richard Baxter No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. - 1 Corinthians 10:12-14 At Delve Into Jesus, we offer a section of our website where visitors can post prayer requests. In the last few years, I've been overwhelmed and deeply saddened by the vast number of prayer requests for shattered marriages. From this and other evidence we've compiled from visitors, I am firmly convinced that Satan is attacking marriages with a vengeance. While this is going on, Christians remain largely unaware of just how quickly a marriage can fall apart if the couple is not wise and careful, and how devastating it is for everyone involved if the union is not restored. In the vast majority of cases, marriages fail because one spouse is abandoned in order that the other spouse may focus on another lover. That lover is usually, but not always, another person, however it can just as easily be overwork, gambling, pornography, drug addiction or any other sinful passion. Marriages don't fall apart overnight. Rarely does temptation overtake someone suddenly and without warning. There are signs and warnings all along the way that must be willfully ignored if one is to reach that moment when temptation seems too much to bear and life-altering mistakes are inevitable. Few married men, no matter how committed they might be to their wife, could resist the seductions of a beautiful, determined woman in a secluded hotel room. However, it would not be the lack of willpower in the moment that would be his downfall, it would the choice to enter the room with her - a choice that he should have foreseen would lead to a terrible, devastating mistake. The sin of lust has already been committed when a married man has allowed a situation to develop to the point that he is alone in a hotel room with a beautiful and determined woman. At this point, almost nothing could draw such a man away from the power of temptation and prevent him from compounding this sin. Meeting the woman at the hotel would have been the last, but certainly not the only warning sign this man would choose to ignore. At the very moment he felt an attraction to this woman, he should have understood and acted upon that serious warning sign and taken appropriate precautions to never be alone with her. For others, their lover is not of flesh, but takes the form of addiction or gambling. There are abundant warning signs here too, as one descends from casual drinking into drunkenness, or from playing friendly poker with friends to midnight bouts at the casino. The fatal blow to a woman's marriage might come at the moment she bets the couple's life-savings on a spin of the roulette wheel, and here also the temptation to make that bet might have been too much for her to endure. However, the real mistake was to enter the casino in the first place knowing what the outcome could likely be. If we are to resist temptation and the devastation it causes, we have to abandon the notion that we are strong enough to overcome all temptation by sheer willpower. This is naive, proud and dangerous thinking and it denies the reality of how temptation enters our lives. It is not a guest which arrives unannounced or unexpectedly. Temptation usually slides a foot inside the door at our invitation and once inside, rarely leaves until it has been satisfied. Our best defense against t

    A Foundation For Faith

    A Foundation For Faith

    That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. 2 Tim 1:12 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." - John 6:67-68 I have a private pilot's license, but I am restricted to flying only when the weather is good enough to navigate by referencing landmarks on the ground. Although the airplane has very sophisticated instruments which allow for traveling through and above the clouds, pilots are not permitted to fly in these conditions without rigorous training. The reason is that when we cannot see the ground or some other stable reference outside the cockpit, most people slowly begin to get imperceptibly disoriented. In time, our bodies begin to send conflicting signals which don't correspond to what the instruments are telling us. For example, we might feel like we're turning, but the sensation is inaccurate and our instruments will faithfully show that we are flying straight and level. Sadly, without the necessary training, most inexperienced pilots will subconsciously begin to respond to their bodies and not their instruments. Disaster soon follows, and many pilots lose their lives in this way. In our walk with Jesus, it's likewise extremely important to trust the information we know to be correct, especially when we become disoriented in storm clouds and our senses are telling us that we're heading off course. The fact that I am the Executive Director of Delve Christian Ministries and the author of these devotionals should not persuade you that I possess exceptional faith; on the contrary, I am on the same journey of surrender as those whom our ministry serves. I also get "disoriented". On a few occasions over the past decade, I have been on the verge of walking away from Christianity. Those were the times during the journey which were so difficult and lonely that I felt I simply could not go on. My senses were telling me that "this whole religion thing is a waste" and that "it's time to get real". Each time, it was my instruments which allowed me to steer clear of disaster. Once I corrected my course, I found myself echoing Peter's words, "Lord, to whom shall I go? You have the words of eternal life. I believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." I have studied the evidence and have become convinced of the truth of the testimony about Jesus. These are my instruments in the cockpit. I don't just believe that Jesus is Lord - I know it. It has been proven to me beyond all doubt. Thus, whenever I feel disoriented, I can rely on this unchanging foundation of evidence. That evidence is so compelling that I simply cannot doubt where I'm going. It is strong and timeless and is not susceptible to the whim of my emotions. Thus, whenever I wonder how it is that God could possibly exist when I feel so alone or when there is so much pain in the world, I fall back on the evidence of creation, the facts of the resurrection, the fulfilled prophecies and the testimony of the apostles. Whether I feel it or not, Jesus is the way to eternal life. Feelings come and go, but truth never changes. That is why it's so important for me to not only feel God's presence in my life, but also to know and accept all the facts about the life of Jesus which so convincingly persuade me that He is Lord. In those terrible moments when I don't feel that I want to follow Jesus anymore, I am able to stop myself from abandoning my faith when I realize that to reject Jesus is to reject truth itself. Jesus is not a concept or an idea; He is an eternal, unchanging truth. We might be free to reject any number of traditions, customs or beliefs and those would cease to ha

Customer Reviews

Agapanthas ,

God in the Drivers Seat

How simple and effective. Ihave been searching for audio devotionals for my brother who has just decided he wants to move on with God after making a decision years ago to become a Christian. he hasn't done anything about growing in the Lord and has dyslexia (reading difficulties). Consequently these devotions are perfect for him. The speech is clear and at moderate speed. The illustrations relate to everyday life and interesting. Thank you so much. May God bless you with many other similar ideas for this podcast.

Top Podcasts In Christianity

Listeners Also Subscribed To